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Everything posted by TAkathy

  1. So sorry your mom is no longer with you. A couple of thoughts struck me right away as I read your post: 1) you're eloping - so if your mom were here, would she be present at the wedding? 2) it's Costa Rica - you don't want to travel with more than you have to - it is definitely a HARD (or SOFT) adventure location 3) Is there a way you could have a seamstress take a small piece of the dress which won't ruin it but still give you the opportunity to have your mom with you without taking the whole dress? (button, lace, etc?) Sorry for the seemingly incoherent and contradictory thoughts - sometimes I just can't control the flow of my thoughts!
  2. Yes, it is the hotels - however, there is a priority list for properties for which guests to "walk" (the term used to decide which patrons with reservations will be "walked" to another property due to over-booking). Online sites (OTA's) are at the top of this list ALWAYS. Properties do not want to have clients who have booked directly with them unhappy and unlikely to return so it is always better to book directly with the property - and through a TA who works with Tour Operators with direct relationships with the hotels. Unfortunately, over-booking occurs frequently in the travel industry. You decrease your chances of being a victim by avoiding the temptation of an "incredible deal" on a property through an cheap online wholesaler.
  3. Don't forget - even if you are having "sit wherever you like" there will need to be a simple way for the guests to be served the right entree if you are having a served meal vs a buffet. Color-coded cards work well and are fairly easy.
  4. The dual version of Unforgettable - Nat and Natalie Cole
  5. My only question is - you said you sent STD's already right? Who did you send them to? If I got one, I would naturally assume it would be followed by an invitation to the wedding I was asked to SAVE THE DATE for. Maybe I misunderstood but if not, it needs to be handled very delicately so as not to offend people who already think they are going to be invited when they maybe won't be.
  6. Yes, airfares are higher across the board from rates even 1-2 years ago. This applies to almost every itinerary and all times of the year. One reason for this is that with airline consolidation, there are fewer airlines serving different areas and fewer flights to accommodate the travelers. This is resulting in fewer flight vacancies. Fewer available seats = higher prices. One additional thing that impacts your pricing however, is the fact that your DW happens during the busiest traveling holiday of the year - THANKSGIVING. No matter what, the prices for holidays are sky-high and this has been shown to be the holiday where people travel most - to visit family or to visit warmer locations. So, unfortunately, you may not get many breaks or see much downward motion on rates.
  7. Once you have secured and deposited the hotel you are committed. then you can begin to "build" the event and selecting and securing the vendors is a big part of that. As mentioned by Wafflesmom, it is important to factor in any fee charged by the resort for using an "outside" vendor if there is one. When your homework results in the right photographer for you, pull the trigger. The best ones go fast and so does time. I feel it is always best to secure the people you want when you find them - that way you avoid having to select from who is left. Just be sure you read the contract carefully for all the vendors so you are fully aware of all pertinent info - cancellation penalties, etc. Enjoy the process!
  8. July 20 - "green" (rainy) season We had a contingency Plan B and did need to utilize it but although we had some partly cloudy days and also some rain, everyone did everything (and more) and all 42 guests raved about the entire trip. Her wedding was in Manuel Antonio - Central Pacific Coast in the vicinity of Manuel Antonio National Park and Rain Forest. Arenal is inland and north east of Manuel Antonio - about 3 hours away but still subject to rain during rainy season. You've gotta have a Plan B for any tropical location wedding. Can check www.costa-rica-guide.com for weather-related information. The green season is less expensive and the high season (Jan - Mar) is much pricier because it is drier.
  9. My sister was married in Costa Rica is 2012 and everyone who came had a blast - it was truly magical. Costa Rica is an incredibly beautiful and romantic location. But it is what is commonly referred to as " hard adventure travel" because it does not yet have the infrastructure to support large scale tourism. This is good in one way because the habitats remain natural and visitors get to experience animals and scenery that is unlike anything anywhere in the US. However, it also means that all aspects of a Destination Wedding or vacation need to be carefully planned. Guests need to be properly prepared for what they will encounter and travel arrangements need to be thoroughly planned in order that guests not require a vehicle. The roads to Arenal pass through some rural areas and mountain towns. Roads are often not paved and frequently washed out with heavy rain. GPS is not reliable even when it appears there is a signal. So as long as everyone knows they are embarking on a true adventure and is up for it, you will have an amazing wedding there. The seasons there are primarily distinguished by the amount of rainfall. I don't know if your date is set but that is something you will want to consider. The "Ticos" (Costa Ricans) are wonderful, kind and gracious people. You can't beat the backdrop of Arenal Volcano - when you can see it. It disappears often behind a shroud of clouds then magically re-appears just as quickly. So careful planning and a sense of wonder matched by a sense of humor will serve you well as you embark on this adventure! Have fun!
  10. I wouldn't be surprised with the TV exposure they have. Have you tried doing an online search for other vendors?
  11. There are some good suggestions listed above to help keep the costs controlled but going forward it is important to keep in mind: there will be costs incurred that you don't anticipate - there always are. So be forewarned to anticipate this. Carefully read your travel insurance policy so that you don't void the terms if making changes. This may not occur but insurance policies are very specific and many people have very unrealistic ideas about what coverage is provided and what they can do just because they have purchased insurance.
  12. So sorry this happened but it does to necessarily present an issue. I would first find out who will be taking over and what, if anything was left for her to prepare her with the details of your event. If the other WC was professional she would have taken and passed on notes about your discussions and necessary details. It's even possible that the property has the WC keep a form containing all these details. This can then be the worksheets that the Wedding Dept and other WCs can refer to. If nothing was left and, as you say, you have arranged for all the vendors, then you should send her the details you have discussed about any arrangements thus far determined. See what questions she has and, from that point, you should have a sense of how much what additional attention you may need to give the situation. If she is sharp, responsive and communicative, she'll be fine. If you sense that she is not some or all of the above, I would prepare a detailed summary of how you envision the day and keep close tabs on these details with her. I would hope you would have heard from the other WC first, I would definitely reach out soon to initiate this important communication. Good Luck!
  13. You certainly have the right to cut off the guest list at this point - luckily the cut-off point has passed and they do not need to know whether or not their RSVP could be accommodated. But it is very rude that they waited so long so it is on them. I would make the following adjustment (in red) to your reply above: "Unfortunately the RSVP and our booking deadline (Dec 19) have passed. Since we did not receive your RSVP by the deadline, we had to assume that you would not be able to attend. We have submitted our final guest list to the resort and are sorry that you will not be able to join us.
  14. Sometimes people can be downright rude with their intimate and intrusive questions - whether they realize it or not. Clearly you have given this quite a bit of thought and it's really up to you how much detail you wish or decide to reveal regarding the specifics of each ceremony. You could just tell people that you have carefully planned a way to satisfy all the religious and legal requirements and are excited that they can join you in the Mexican celebration of your marriage. They really do not need to know more than that - unless you want them to. It is purely your decision how you do it and how much everyone knows about the specifics. As well, it should be your decision about who is invited to the religious ceremony. That being said, you may have to "pick your battles" and defer to allowing more there than you have selected if it is important to your mom (and not an insurmountable concession for you). On the other hand, if you and your fiancé really feel strongly about something, stand up for yourselves. Weddings can be a very challenging situation to navigate - as you are discovering. But part of the process of establishing your lives separate of your immediate family and each other's friends is deciding how you want to represent yourselves as a couple and the wedding ceremony is, for many, the first opportunity to do this. This can cause some "disturbance in the force" but it is important that you stick to your beliefs and decisions (unless it makes sense to bend sometimes). It's your life and it's your wedding so have a good time with it and if you expend any energy on the responses of others, let it be humor in realizing how this kind of thoughtless inquiry can really be intrusive and inappropriate. This is a lesson that you can learn from others so you don't repeat it someday. Enjoy!
  15. Hi Jenny. I'm so sorry you and your fiancé are having to deal with this situation. It is understandable that you would both feel hurt. However, please do not project this into the future with justifications for cutting off ties with your newly formed family going forward. There are sometimes reasons that are not expressed when close family members or friends fail to attend a couple's destination wedding. This can cause hard feelings which creates tension - a very tough way to begin a family relationship. In other cases, people don't always realize how hurtful the type of comment/decision can be. I'm sorry that your dad seems to be minimizing the importance of a symbolic ceremony but he clearly doesn't understand its importance to you to share this important event with those closest to you. People don't always realize how hurtful this type of comment/decision can be. If you think there is need for you to offer to assist with payment so your finance's parents can attend, by all means make the offer. But please consider that It is very difficult for a parent to make the decision to not attend their child's wedding. But their decision should be respected and accepted - even if it is not understood. In the end, it is about the two of you and you will have an incredible time no matter what. Just don't let that attitude dictate your response. Take a deep breath and move forward focusing on all the people who have RSVP'd to be there and help you celebrate. Have a wonderful wedding!
  16. Wow! So sorry that you are having to deal with this! Take a deep breath - you WILL get through this! It would be helpful for others to know which hotel is being discussed - perhaps it will inform others before they have to encounter your level of shock. It is very fortunate that you have family and the majority of your guests in Jamaica both from the standpoint of wedding accommodations and local assistance at this point in the re-location process. However, as nice as it is of your future in-laws to help you search for a replacement venue, I would suggest that more than one party be involved in that - and overseen by you as much as possible - in somewhat of an accelerated re-play of the initial search. It's very possible that another venue will be found and secured but it should be a place that fits your vision of the event. How about contacting a local wedding planner in the area and enlisting their services. They will have the contact info for properties and be able to determine which ones will match your vision and which of them are available for our date - much more quickly than anyone else. Best wishes - please keep us posted!
  17. Hi there. It is a bit confusing I realize. Based on the information from this website: http://www.usmarriagelaws.com/search/united_states/massachusetts The marriage license is the document required by the state in order to then have the ceremony legally recognized. There are time frames involved based on a number of factors (whether both applicants are MA residents, etc) so you need to read the entire document to know how your situation applies. But the short answer is: 1) you need this document FIRST in order to have a wedding ceremony registered as legal in the state 2) No, you are not married once you get it - the ceremony would then follow based on the specific time guidelines applicable to your situation. If you are wanting to get legally married in MA prior to your Destination Wedding event (in other words, your DW will be SYMBOLIC - not Legal )- you would have to do whatever MA requires to legally register the marriage there. If you want to have the Legal ceremony in Mexico, you need to determine and follow the requirements for having a Legally Binding ceremony in that specific Mexican state (they vary) and be sure to complete all necessary requirements. However, you need to determine what Massachusetts requires (if anything) in order to have the Mexican ceremony recognized in your home state. It's generally more expensive to have a legal ceremony in a DW site because of extra costs (residency or visitation requirements prior to the ceremony, legal paperwork fees, translation costs, US documentation preparation, etc) but some Brides and Grooms prefer to do it this way - it's up to you both. Just be sure you are clear on which way you want to do it and what each country will require of you to register the marriage legally. It may be worth a call or a trip down to the appropriate government agency to speak with someone who can walk you through the legalities. It is very important to know what will be required of you in advance. I hope that helps.
  18. Sorry you have to be dealing with this level of insensitivity, You have enough to concern yourself with. But you shouldn't have to be on the hook or on the fence. I would definitely notify all of your guests who have RSVP'd YES but not yet reserved group space at your hotel: 1) what the monetary consequences will be if they stay at another property (Be sure to clearly explain the fees) 2) that you will need to collect the required fees in advance for anyone who is planning on attending the wedding but staying at another property. 3) Clarify that if the required fees are not paid in advance, you will need to indicate that those guests are not attending as the hotel needs an accurate guest count in order to properly prepare and staff the wedding events. However you phrase it, as long as guests are fore-warned of exactly what the consequences are, it is on them if they choose to make other arrangements. But there is no way you should have to fork out money to accommodate this type of behavior. You may save some folks from making a big mistake.
  19. If you're in the US you could also get married here before leaving for Punta Cana. Maybe you can do that in Canada as well if you live there. Then, as you indicated, you don't have to worry about having the beach ceremony being legally binding. I have no input on the delay in getting the judge OK but at least you could have a fall back Plan B.
  20. It almost sounds like the WC has private arrangements with particular people and doesn't really want you to have much information about them. I would be leary of that - you need to be able to do some research and decide if that is the way you want to go. There is a Costco in Cabo and they usually have flowers - not sure about the succulents - but I'm sure you could find something that will work. Should be a lot less expensive than $750. Good Luck.
  21. This is a popular time for weddings in that area and will remain so for a bit so don't stress about not hearing back from the WC yet. Use the time between now and your conversation to review any of the information available on this site and others. That should help you formulate the questions to ask when you have your phone conversation. Often, the WC don't focus on the wedding until a month or two out from the date because they have so many before it. That doesn't mean they won't communicate with you though so you can get the information you need to continue with your planning.
  22. In the US, Insurance policies and coverage will vary with companies and the type of coverage desired. I don't know anything about the coverage or companies in Canada. I would strongly advise you to read all information about the insurance offering to be sure it will meet your needs (to the degree possible). In the US there are specific stipulations about the timing of initial payments for the trip and coverage available. So just know what you are getting and what protections are available to you should you need to file a claim. I always strongly recommend travel insurance and have had experience with claims personally and professionally. In 2013, I received over $7000 in reimbursements for claims following my husband's injury during a trip to Maui. So, things can happen to prevent a trip from happening (such as mentioned above), or during the trip. I always tell my clients that the coverage price is minimal compared to the cost they will experience if there is an emergency. And they will be very happy to have the coverage if they should end up needing it. Just read it carefully and know what you are getting.
  23. I would keep the info as brief but complete as possible. Include all necessary information so that people are not confused and understand who and when to call. Everything about the change/correction should be in one place. Highlight the new number. I used a similar method (the note with ribbon attachment) to my daughter's baby shower invitations. This part notified people about her registry info. It was a jungle-themed invite. So the cut-out was a monkey and the ribbon was a piece of fabric "vine". It blended right into the theme and immediately brought attention to the note the monkey was "delivering" as he swung inside the card when it was opened. I'm sure your invitation will look beautiful! Good Luck!
  24. I agree with @@ASmooth if this can be done it is easiest but this may be a Travel Agency with many agents so not possible. Short of that, perhaps you can add a small small but noticeable enclosure with the new phone # which is obviously presented with the invitation. In a bright or noticeable color and brief message indicating a change from what is on the invite. Or Do a cut-out design co-ordinating with your invitation (star-fish, shell, flower, etc) that the note is secured to and attach this to the invitation via a thin piece of ribbon taped on the back. This will get people's attention without detracting from the invite itself.
  25. Your ideas are great and very easy to execute. Shops, markets and vendors are everywhere! All of the items you want for a Mexican themed wedding will be readily found in Mexico. Save yourself the headache and backache of carting it all down there (think about the additional fees for the extra weight in your luggage and the space that could be saved if you don't have to carry these items). You may find something even more perfectly suited to the area when you get there. Have fun!
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